Do You Have Customers or Promoters?

You know that guy. He’s so in love with his iPod that he practically talks you into buying another one every time you enter his space. Or there’s that lady in the cube next to you who’s always reminding that you’ve “got to check out” that great new Google feature because its so useful.

According to an article I read in Associations Now, ASAE’s magazine, an organization can have customers (AKA members) or it can have promoters.

The article focuses on the concept that you can determine the long-term fate of your organization by this question:

Would your members/customers recommend your organization to their friends?

Take a moment to think about this… It’s a big one.

I can think of many angles within an organization that would impact this recommendation, but customer service is certainly a big one. So is reputation and brand: are we delivering what we promise?

Are our customers satisfied or are they loyal? Are your customers promoting your organization or product to their friends and colleagues?

I even like to apply this question to myself as both a professional and a person. Would my co-workers recommend me as a professional? Would my friends recommend me as a friend? Would my husband recommend me as a wife?

The question measures loyalty, and it’s the focus of the book, The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth by best-selling author Fred Reichheld.

The article goes on to profile an association who researched the ultimate question through a survey, and then discovered where they landed on Reichheld’s Net Promoter Score (NPS). To learn more about the metrics and research side of the ultimate question, you’ll have to check out the book.


Sonia is the marketing strategist & word geek for NeuConcept.